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Concessionary Bus Pass reform
Concessionary Bus Pass reform
In July 2019, the Welsh Government announced that age at which people in Wales become eligible for a free bus pass would increase from 60 to stage pension age (65 now and 67 by 2028). The Welsh Government cites the rising cost of providing the passes as the reason for the change in eligibility.

Both inside and outside of Wales, there is a lot of people who think the current concessionary pass system is not fit or purpose and is in need of reform. Bus operators complain they are not getting sufficiently reimbursed for pensioners using their passes as the reimbursement rates are based on the price of a single fare in the mid-2000s and are thus, out of date. Whilst local authorities are saying because of a reduction in government subsides for pensioners passes, they are having to divert funding from other areas such as school services in order to provide free travel for pensioners.

What do you think?
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RE: Concessionary Bus Pass reform
(28/07/2019 12:06)Walton 46 Wrote:  In July 2019, the Welsh Government announced that age at which people in Wales become eligible for a free bus pass would increase from 60 to stage pension age (65 now and 67 by 2028). The Welsh Government cites the rising cost of providing the passes as the reason for the change in eligibility.

Both inside and outside of Wales, there is a lot of people who think the current concessionary pass system is not fit or purpose and is in need of reform. Bus operators complain they are not getting sufficiently reimbursed for pensioners using their passes as the reimbursement rates are based on the price of a single fare in the mid-2000s and are thus, out of date. Whilst local authorities are saying because of a reduction in government subsides for pensioners passes, they are having to divert funding from other areas such as school services in order to provide free travel for pensioners.

What do you think?

Vote for almost anybody except the Tories...
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RE: Concessionary Bus Pass reform
(28/07/2019 19:49)Bevan Price Wrote:  Vote for almost anybody except the Tories...

None of them are fit for purpose...we need another way...Do not vote for anyone

Cheers
Rob Day

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RE: Concessionary Bus Pass reform
We need to do away with it altogether. When growing up in the early 90’s I can remember my gran paying a concessionary fare on the bus and paying the same fare for me (half adult fare). It worked fine.

Yes we can argue that these people have paid into the pot so should get a free pass, but we need to accept that this system has played a very big part in destroying some of our bus networks.
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RE: Concessionary Bus Pass reform
(30/07/2019 03:58)Mayneway Wrote:  We need to do away with it altogether. When growing up in the early 90’s I can remember my gran paying a concessionary fare on the bus and paying the same fare for me (half adult fare). It worked fine.

Yes we can argue that these people have paid into the pot so should get a free pass, but we need to accept that this system has played a very big part in destroying some of our bus networks.

I couldn't agree more. People complain - particularly the elderly - if a bus route is taken off due to lack of use or lack of money being brought in from it. If people want a bus service so badly, they shouldn't have an issue with paying for it if its so important to them. Surely paying a reduced fare isn't much to ask instead of having no bus at all.

Another issue I have is that quite a lot of people catch the bus with disabled passes, many regulars who are working an travel in a company uniform. I'm not saying they don't have a disability, some of them very notably do, but given that they're in employment and earning a wage, why are they still entitled to free travel? The whole system needs shuffling up. It doesn't work, and the concession scheme along with the likes of myticket in Merseyside is killing our bus networks.
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RE: Concessionary Bus Pass reform
I use my pass quite a lot. As I'm in Greater Manchester (Timperley) I can also use it on Metrolink, and on trains within the county.

Once I go further afield, I use my Senior Railcard to earn a 33% discount. So, for example, I can get to Wigan for free, and then get a return ticket to Lancaster for £9.50

I worked for 53 years (and still have a part time job 17 hours a week), and have paid a great deal of money into the Exchequer in my lifetime. I wouldn't personally object, however, to paying a fairly modest charge to use the buses outside Greater Manchester.

There are many older people on low incomes who have limited mobility, and are totally dependent on public transport. However, short of introducing the rightly hated means testing, these people cannot be separated out of the overall group. I am by no means well off, and my reliance on public transport is likely to increase as I get older (72 in November). To lose this benefit would hurt me in the longer term.
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RE: Concessionary Bus Pass reform
Going back to the issue of cost, earlier on this year I went to see the House of Common's transport committee hearing evidence on the bus market in Liverpool. The head of stagecoach in his evidence said because operators are not currently being sufficiently reimbursed, if they had a full double decker bus and every passenger on board was a pass holder, that bus wouldn't pay for itself. That's probably a reason why Cumfybus withdrew the 139 in Liverpool last year
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RE: Concessionary Bus Pass reform
One advantage of the concessionary pass is that it may encourage some older people to travel by bus, rather than attempt to drive a car if they have developed age-related medical or eyesight conditions that indicate they are getting unfit to drive.
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RE: Concessionary Bus Pass reform
(30/07/2019 07:48)L401CJF Wrote:  I couldn't agree more. People complain - particularly the elderly - if a bus route is taken off due to lack of use or lack of money being brought in from it. If people want a bus service so badly, they shouldn't have an issue with paying for it if its so important to them. Surely paying a reduced fare isn't much to ask instead of having no bus at all.

Another issue I have is that quite a lot of people catch the bus with disabled passes, many regulars who are working an travel in a company uniform. I'm not saying they don't have a disability, some of them very notably do, but given that they're in employment and earning a wage, why are they still entitled to free travel? The whole system needs shuffling up. It doesn't work, and the concession scheme along with the likes of myticket in Merseyside is killing our bus networks.

Two points in regards to your comments which I agree with. A big issue ive found (as I drive one!) is you get certain services or circulars that predomantly used by OAP’s, nothing wrong with that but I’ve found it puts some regular fare paying punters off using a service because they recognise it as being slow and frustrating with pensioners slowly ambling on and off.

The issue of disabled passes has really shocked me. When the company I work for got ticketer machines it actually comes up and tells the driver what pass they scanned. The amount of people who use disabled passes and work and look completely able bodied is surprising. I was told that anyone can go to their GP, convince the GP they have a problem with drink or drugs, get put on a long waiting list for counciling and immediately be entitled to a bus pass.
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RE: Concessionary Bus Pass reform
I’ve always believed that a concessionary pass should be something where by the passenger scans their card but pays a diminished flat fare such as 50p-£1 for the journey. Similar to what a few companies have done before the 9.29am free for all.
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